Builder 101 
Where do you start when it comes to building a new home? This National Association of Home Builders link is designed specifically to help educate the "Consumer" regarding the processes of building a new home. You will find about every topic you can think of along with many others you never thought of.
Energy saving products vs. Utility companies rising costs and end user habits 
Caring for your Hardwood Flooring
Green Building Appraisal Issues 
Tankless Water Heaters
Electric and Gas
In the United Stated only 4% of residential homes have Tankless Water Heaters and growing. The European countries are way ahead of us on this trend. I live in an area with a Co-Op electric company that actually "gave" the Builder's two 50 gallon electric water heaters for free. Over the years I realized why they gave each new customer the "free" water heaters, they run up your electric bill.  Tankless water heaters generally cost about 3 times as much as your storage tank water heaters. When you do the math plus the tax incentives out there for energy efficient products, the product pays for itself sooner and takes up less space, it can even be installed in a closet.
Water Saving Products
In this episode we are discussing toilet brands, Gerber and Toto. A majority of new homes require water saving toilets that use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, the problem with this is, it takes two flushes to actually clear the bowl. Gerber has come up with a "Dual" flushing system that has two separate push buttons, one for heavier needs (1.6 gals) and the other for lighter (1.1 gals)needs.  Toto, which is the top of the line toilet, has a one piece toilet design with a redesigned water outlets in the bowl assisting the swirl of the flush. These new toilets use an average of 1.28 gallons per flush, saving 20% water.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) bulbs and Dimmable Switches: 
Many people are changing their light bulbs to CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) for the savings and ECO reasons. The problem is many of the bulbs on the market do not dim, they flicker or just won't dim properly. First off you need "Dimmable" CFL's, many CFL's are not dimmable CFL's. Here are some brands you can get:  EcoSmart (Home Depot), Feit, GE, Neptun Light, Philips, Sylvania and TCP. Leviton also makes a decora dimmer switch that will retrofit your application. Go to Leviton's website @ for a list of CFL bulb Model #'s that are dimmable.
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